Pat Smear Net Worth

Net Worth $ 25,000,000
Real name Georg Albert Ruthenberg
Profession Guitarist, Musician, Songwriter
Spouse/Partner Married, Name Unknown
Date of Birth Aug 5, 1959
Zodiac Leo
Age 63
Gender Male
Height 184 cm / 6 ft 0 inch
Nationality American


Pat Smear is an American musician, mostly famous due to being a part of one of the biggest bands of all time: Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Germs, Adolescents, Darby Crash Band, 45 Grave, and Meat Puppets.

As of 2022, Pat Smear’s net worth is estimated at $25 million.

Early life

Georg Albert Ruthenberg, known by his stage name - Pat Smear, was born and raised in L.A., California, where he spent almost all of his life.

His mother was of African-American and Native American descent, while his father was a German-Jewish immigrant. His parents signed him up for piano lessons, but Pat was more drawn towards playing the guitar, which would turn out to be his life calling.

At the age of 13, Pat left home to join a commune since he was very religious. He attended the Innovative Program School, which was an alternative school under the University High School in Los Angeles.

At this period, he was introduced to Darby Crash, who would later become the lead vocalist in the Germs. They quickly became close, and were both expelled from the school as a result of “inciting unruly behavior among students”.[1]


At the age of 17, Pat Smear and Darby Crash formed the band “Germs”, including bassist Lorna Doom, and drummer Dottie Danger. When they formed the band, Smear didn’t own a guitar and stated that he was borrowing guitars from whoever they were playing with.

In addition, none of the band members besides Smear had any musical knowledge.

In 1979, the band released their first debut album, which was produced by Joan Jett. Pat Smear was largely praised for his guitar work on this album. In 1981, The Germs appeared in a punk documentary - “The Decline of Western Civilization”. In 1980, the group disbanded due to the suicide of Darby Crash.

Darby had formed a suicide pact with his then-girlfriend, where they both injected $400 worth of heroin. His girlfriend survived, while he overdosed and passed away. Crash’s plan was to release a single album and go down in history as an icon. Unfortunately, John Lennon was shot and killed the day after, and Darby’s plan to become an icon in the world of punk was unsuccessful, at least at the moment.[2]

Pat Smear continued working solo for several years later. He started playing with Paul and Kira Roessler in Twisted Roots. He then released two solo albums, “Ruthensmear” and “So You Fell In Love With A Musician”. At this time, he briefly played with “The Adolescents” in 1981, followed by his joining the band “Vagina Dentata,” where he was known as Pat Bulsara.

He took several acting jobs at this time as well, showing up in shows like: “Quincy,” “M.E,” and “CHiPs”. He also showed up in the movies “Blade Runner” and “Breakin’,” which is where he was introduced to Courtney Love and became friends with her.

Later in 1981, Smear joined “45 Grave” briefly, a deathrock band where he played alongside Don Bolles.

As a result of being introduced and getting close to Courtney Love, Smear got a call from Kurt Cobain in 1993 to play as a second guitarist for Nirvana on their next tour. He accepted the offer and had his first show with Nirvana on Saturday Night Live in September. He played with them for six months and even appeared on their MTV Unplugged album. When Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994, the group disbanded, and Smear’s exposure to massive audiences came to an end.

The following year, Nirvana’s drummer, Dave Grohl, formed the band “Foo Fighters”. Smear joined the band from the very beginning, but Smear didn’t make appearances in their albums until 1997, since their music was recorded before he joined. After “The Colour and the Shape” album was released in 1997, Smear decided to leave the band. In a later interview, Smear stated that he quit the band due to extreme exhaustion resulting from the tiresome schedule. At their last set at the MTV Music Video Awards, Smear announced he was leaving the band and introduced Stahl as his replacement.

He took a job as a creative consultant in a movie about Darby Crash - “What We Do Is Secret”, which was released in 2007. In 2005, Smear made several reunion appearances with “The Germs” with the actor Shane West, who played the role of Darby Crash in the movie.

In 2005, Smear started joining Foo Fighters on gigs, before joining back again in 2010. The former Nirvana members had several performances in honor of Kurt Cobain, many of which were joined by former “Beatles” member, Paul McCartney.[3]

Throughout his career, he almost exclusively used Hagstörm guitars, due to his collaboration and having signature guitars from the company.

He now uses Gibson guitars, such as White SG Custom or Les Paul.

Personal life

Pat Smear is extremely private about his life outside of the stage. He is married and has at least one child, but the name of his wife or child remains unknown.

All that is known about Smear’s love life is his last public relationship from the late 90s with Jena Cardwell. The couple was together for some time, but it remains a mystery when and why they broke up, nor what led to Smear meeting and getting married to his now-wife.[4]


Pat Smear, born Georg Albert Ruthenberg, is one of the most iconic names from the rock scene during the ‘80s and ‘90s, closely associated with Nirvana’s frontman, Kurt Cobain.

Pat Smear is currently living in L.A., with his anonymous wife and child. He is currently 63 years old. His net worth is estimated at $25 million as of 2022.


  1. Pat Smear (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: (Accessed: November 29, 2022).

  2. The Death and Afterlife of an LA Punk (2008) The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Available at: (Accessed: November 29, 2022).

  3. Pat Smear Age, Hometown, Biography (no date) Available at: (Accessed: November 29, 2022).

  4. Isha (2021) Who is Pat Smear's wife? about the guitarist's Love life, hollywoodmask. sbwebtechnology. Available at: (Accessed: November 29, 2022).